Homes of Donegal 2

One of the most popular and evocative Irish ballads is ‘The Homes of Donegal.’ It has been recorded by numerous artists and is always a tug on the heartstrings of the Irish overseas, especially Irish Americans.

This song was written by Seán McBride in about 1955. Seán was a native of Cruit island which is in the Rosses area of Donegal (West Donegal). He was a school Teacher at St.Baithins school in the Carrigans/St.Johnston area (East Donegal) for most of his life. Seán passed away at the age of 90 in August 1996 and is buried on Cruit Island. He only wrote the lyrics, the actual air itself is maybe 150 or more years old. There are many songs around using the same melody, but to my ears the closest one is a song called “The Faughan Side”, This song was part of the Curriculum in national schools in East Donegal and as Seán was a Teacher in the “Laggan Valley” (South Inishowen) I’m pretty sure that is where he got his inspiration for the “Homes of Donegal”.

Homes of Donegal 1

This version by Paul Brady is from his 1985 album “Back to the Centre” I hope you enjoy it.

 

THE HOMES OF DONEGAL

I’ve just dropped in to see you all
I’ll only stay awhile
I want to hear how you’re getting on
I want to see you smile
I’m happy to be back again
And greet you big and small
For there’s no place else on earth just like
The homes of Donegal

I long to see your smiling children
Standing by the door
The kettle boiling on the hearth
As I walk up the floor
And then to see a welcome free
For travellers one and all
For your hearts are like your mountains
In the homes of Donegal

I’d like to stay along with you
And while away the night
With fairy lore and tales of yore
Beside the turf fire bright
And then to see laid out for me
A shake-down by the wall
For there’s rest for weary wanderers
In the homes of Donegal

The time has come for me to go
And bid you all adieu
For the open highway calls me back
To do these things I do
But when I’m travelling far away
Your friendship I’ll recall
And please God I’ll soon return unto
The homes of Donegal

******************

 

005-7

 

MY IRISH CHILDHOOD MEMOIR.

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